Huntsville police decide not to file charges against Internet scammer

No charges will be filed against the Sam Houston student linked in an Internet scam; however, he will be facing federal charges for another offense.Huntsville Police Detective Rob McCurry said the district attorney will not be filing charges against the student because the victims live out of state, one in South Carolina and two in Baltimore, Md. “He (the suspect) has already paid $3,000 in restitution for two of the victims. The other two got their money back in other ways,” McCurry said. “One was able to stop payment on her check or money order and the other, we were able to recover a check on the suspect’s person.”Although there will be no local charges filed against the student, federal charges may be filed based on another offense stemming from this investigation. McCurry said the Ebay investigation produced findings that have led to possible federal charges. He was unable to comment further on the pending investigation.McCurry said the scam took place because people contacted the seller directly for additional copies of merchandise. “Ebay is safe for the most part, a long as you follow the rules. Folks contacted the seller directly, which is not handled by Ebay, and got burned. As long as you follow procedure (not directly contacting the sellers) this doesn’t happen,” McCurry said.The Internet scam involved attempting to sell four non-existent computer video projectors off the popular auction web site, Ebay. When one of the potential buyers never received his projector after sending a check, the Huntsville Police Department was notified and the investigation began. Detective McCurry said following an electronic paper trail led him to the 22-year-old student. McCurry obtained a search warrant on Oct. 12 and seized the suspect’s computer and other items.

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